Monthly Meetings:

All members are invited to our Monthly Meetings, held at St Patrick's Golf Club, Saul Road, Downpatrick.  We start at 10.30am and usually finish around 12.30.

Each month we have a guest speaker, who will give a talk on a subject of interest and there is always time to ask questions.  There is then an opportunity to have a chat and catch-up with other members over a cup of tea or coffee.  Finally, we have an update on activities and other events which might be of interest to members.  This is also an opportunity to put forward suggestions or ideas for new activities.

Below are the dates for forthcoming meetings and, where speakers have been confirmed, the name of the speaker and the topic they will be covering.

Also listed below are details of some of the speakers we have had over the last couple of years.

If you have any suggestions for speakers who may be of interest to the group, please let us know.

DateSpeaker
8 September 2020Helen Honeyman - Travels on the Silk Road
6 October 2020Cecil Lowry - Life of Frank Pantridge
23 November 2020Anne Donnelly - NI Film Archive
25 January 2021Doreen McBride - Tales from County Down
22 February 2021WRDA - Bowel Screening
21 March 2021Dr Patricia Marsh - 1918/1919 Flu Pandemic in Ireland, Ulster & Downpatrick
26 April 2021Hubert Curran - From Killyleagh to the Galapagos Islands
24 May 2021Ken Tait - North of Ireland Family History Society

We do not normally have a formal meeting in June but instead arrange a social event ahead of the summer break when we do not meet during July & August.  The December meeting is normally replaced with a seasonal lunch earlier in the month.

Previous Meetings:

24 May 2021

At our May monthly meeting Downe u3a members heard from Ken Tait about the opportunities and resources available from the North of Ireland Family History Society.  Ken is a keen participant in the work of the very active Killyleagh branch of the society which links Northern Ireland people past and present, here and around the world.  The Society maintains and updates a significant library of books and documents which members can search for traces of their family past.

Ken told of the changes which have widened the Society’s scope, first with the advent of DNA testing and more recently the use of zoom has enabled participants in far flung places to link in with meetings.  He told how people take a DNA test for other reasons but he encouraged participants who have not yet done so to have a go and see which family links they can find.

26 April 2021

The April monthly meeting of Downe u3a, still held via Zoom, was treated to tales of a trip to the Galapagos Islands taken by one of its members, Hubert Curran, who currently lives in Killyleagh.  Following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, who visited the islands in 1835, Hubert showed some of his close-up photographs of the wide range of unusual birds and animals which make their home and are protected there.  Because they have few predators the wildlife do not run or fly away as readily as in other places, thus creating an ideal location for photographers.

Hubert told of the strict rules imposed by the Ecuador Government to protect the islands, their flora and fauna from predators, human and otherwise,  and of the remaining attempts to rid rats from a few of the islands.

The u3a members added to the presentation by tales of their own experiences, including keeping iguanas as pets and ringing petrels.  While still unable to hold face to face meetings Downe continues to make the most of the situation and, as well as zoom meetings on books, crafts, food and wine, a system for sharing seeds and plants has been established and one skilful member has offered to repair goods for members.  They are looking forward to outdoor groups, Walking, Strolling, Nature and Gardening, being able to get back into action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF PREVIOUS SPEAKERS

2007 
Mike KingDown County Museum - Building
Florence McFarlaneU3A Movement
Cathie McKimmDownpatrick Opera Fringe
Terence BowmanLife & Times at Mourne Observer
Dr CampbellSt PatrickÕs Centre & Life of St Patrick
Eddie McGradyLife of an MP
George RiceHistory of Ardglass
2008
Emma ThorpeNorthern Ireland Screen (Historical Film Clips)
Jim ManlyArtist
Yvette ShapiroJournalist & Broadcaster
Senator Maurice HayesCareer
Professor Ronnie BuchananMerchants and Planters
Albert BairdImpact India
Olive BroderickVoluntary Arts Ireland
2009
John KillenLinenhall Library
Clive ScoularSarah Purser Ð The life of
Pat DevlinGenealogy
Ed KilgoreMourne Mountain Rescue Team
Sean NolanThe Story of ÒMy Lagan LoveÓ
Walter LoveLife and Times
2010
Dr Phillip DonaldWorking in Guinea
Iain DavidsonDown Arts Centre
Clive ScoularDr Hans Sloane
2011
Linda McKennaCrime and Punishment in Co Down 18th & 19th Centuries
Jo WhatmoughA Life in Wildlife Conversation
Howard Goslyn18th & 19th Century Plant Collectors
Helen HoneymanA Tour of Iran
Finbar McCormackHistory and Folklore of Holy Wells
Kevin QuinnA Tour of Ireland Through Poetry
2012
Sarah McCandlessPatient & Client Council
Peter McCannRennaisance Art
Madeleine McAlisterHistory of Underwear
Helen HoneymanTravels in Uzbekistan
Avril Milligan (Rowallane)Herbs
Brian KennedyHistory of Modern Irish Art
Janice HolmesA Social History of Down
David ParkWriting
Michael HealyWaste Not, Want Not
2013
Susie MillarTwo New Pennies Ð Grandfather lost on the Titanic
Julian GreenwoodBirds of County Down
Brian BlackSailing in the Artic Ocean
Raymond & Sheila Crea and Maureen KellyTravels in Vietnam and Cambodia
Avril MilliganSpring Plants
Clive ScoularHenry Blackwood
2014
Stuart PollardU3A Trust
Janet McLeanNational Gallery Celebrating 150 years
Roma TomeltyCareer Highlights
David AndersonHospitality at Hillsborough Castle
Diana GledhillTravels in Kamchatka
Julian GreenwoodBirdlife in South of France
2015
Lisa MallonAlzheimerÕs Society
Tony & Rose MurphyTravels in Isreal
Dot BlakelyWater Birds on Quoille
Dr Brian McElroyChiropratric Treatment
Maria NobleHistory of Black People in the British Isles
Susan PriceNepal
Tony McAuleyWriter & Broadcaster
George BusbySecret Listeners of Gilnahirk
Norman KerrHarry Ferguson
2016
Frank McGreevyCamino Walk
Manson BlairThe Sinking of the Titanic Ð the Alternative Story
Alan DrysdaleArds TT Races
Acting Up Group
Rosemary DohertyFather Dan CUmmings
John HannaConfessions of a Collector
Neil PorteousThe Development of Mount Stewart Garden
Marie MullanThe Geneva Window by Harry Clarke
2017
Catherine McAnallenVolunteering Overseas - Any Granny Can
Ernie WilsonMourne Ramblings
Sandy SmithCS Lewis's links with County Down
Alan BucknallPower to our Children
Ernie CromieUlster Aviation Society
Tim CampbellThe St Patrick Way
Anna LoHer Life & Political Career
2018
Samuel ReidThe Dogs Trust
Norman WeatherallHow we used to shop in Belfast
Simon MaltmanCrime Fiction Writer
Sheena WilkinsonHer life story as an author
Gerry MillerCreating a Memoir
2019
Marie Therese Rogers-MoloneyThe Sins of my Mother
Martin CareyMourne Heritage Trust
Richard ParkinsonColditz
Leslie SimpsonRecipes from Down Museum Archive
Maria NobleThe History of Black Music
Richard GillDealing with Scams - Ulster Bank
Nicola MacDougalEnergy Efficiency in the Home
Vicky ChambersUlster Wildlife Trust
2020
Michael McKeagHeraldry
Billy McCulloughLocal Cinemas